Today, Wednesday 8 May 2013, in a historic move, The Hon Barry O’Farrell MP, Premier of NSW, rose in the NSW Parliament, Legislative Assembly (The Lower House) to move a motion calling for the recognition of the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek Genocides. The motion was passed unanimously.
The recognition came after a week when a similar motion tabled by the Hon. Fred Nile MLC, President of the Australian Christian Party was passed unanimously in the upper house.
This was a result of combined efforts by the Assyrian Universal Alliance of Australia, the Armenian National Committee of Australia and the Australian Hellenic Council of NSW. The three organisations conducted a number of meetings in the past two years with members of parliament pursuing support for recognition of the Assyrian, Greek and Armenian Genocides.
Mr Hermiz Shahen, The Deputy secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance said, “The Assyrian people have fallen victim to the genocide against Christians in the Ottoman empire and its aftermaths, and today is facing state sponsored denial and truth distorting, re-writing of history by the Turkish authorities..... This recognition will help our Assyrian nation and its organisations in their attempt to strengthen our national existence in the homeland as well as in the diaspora. It will help our nation to find its rightful place among the nations of the world and to creatively make its special contribution to the universal development of mankind.”
Mr Shahen also thanked The Hon Barry O”Farrell MP, Premier of NSW for tabling this motion, Mr John Robertson, MP, Leader of the Opposition for supporting the motion, and for all those esteemed members of NSW Legislative Assembly who backed the motion.
Let justice be done, souls consoled, broken hearts mended, nations reconciled, and honour given to all those who perished so needlessly during a dark hour in mankind’s recent history.
The motion was as follow:
Notice of MotionI give notice that this House:
- notes that on 17 April 1997 this House recognised and condemned the Genocide of the Armenians by the then Ottoman Government between 1915 and 1922 and designated 24 April of every year thereafter as a day of remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenians who fell victim to the first genocide of the twentieth century,
- recognises that Assyrians and Greeks were subjected to qualitatively similar genocides by the then Ottoman Government between 1915 and 1922,
- reaffirms its condemnation of the genocide of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks, and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of intolerance,
- recognises the importance of remembering and learning from such dark chapters in human history to ensure that such crimes against humanity are not allowed to be repeated,
- acknowledges and pays tribute to the contribution of the ANZAC servicemen who aided the survivors of the genocide, and
- acknowledges the significant humanitarian relief contribution made by the people of New South Wales to the victims and survivors of the genocide.
LEST WE FORGET.